Frenchman Keeps Lead Els Within Five


2007 BMW Asian OpenSHANGHAI, China - France's Raphael Jacquelin shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard at the BMW Open for the third consecutive day.
Jacquelin birdied the 17th hole -- one of three birdies in his last six holes -- and pulled one stroke ahead of Australia's Scott Hend at 11-under 205.
The last time Jacquelin held a 54-hole lead was at the 2005 Madrid Open, where he claimed his only career European Tour win.
He led by seven shots heading into the final round.
'It is completely different and I just have to play better than the other guys. That's all,' said Jacquelin.
Hend fired a 5-under 67 in the third round to move into second place alone at 10-under 206. It is the highest he has ever been on a leaderboard heading into a final round on the European Tour.
'I'm as close as I've been for a long time,' said Hend, who tied for second last week at the Volvo China Open. 'But there are a lot of other guys out there that I've got to beat and one of them is myself.
'If I can manage to control myself and win the battle with myself, then I will have a chance that it could happen. There's 18 holes to go and it's a long way.'
Heavy rain is predicted to fall during the final round -- a forecast that led organizers to push tee times up and send threesomes off both No. 1 and No. 10 in the hopes of finishing on Sunday.
'I think we will be up early tomorrow,' said Jacquelin, 'but the good news is that I will catch my flight.'
Scotland's Simon Yates matched the course record with an 8-under 64 Saturday, scorching Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club with nine birdies in 17 holes before he stumbled to his only bogey at the 18th.
Yates was joined in a tie for third place by Soren Kjeldsen (68) and Joakim Backstrom (68) at 9-under 207.
Jacquelin was tied with three other players -- Hend, Yates and Backstrom -- at 9 under par before he made a birdie at No. 15 to break the logjam.
Hend quickly joined him at 10 under with a birdie on the 17th, but Jacquelin pulled ahead for good when he birdied the same hole two groups later.
Jacquelin will be looking to build on a string of good showings that started two weeks ago in Portugal with his runner-up finish to surprising amateur Pablo Martin-Benavides.
Last week, Jacquelin held the 36-hole lead at the China Open but coughed up his advantage with weekend rounds of 75-71.
'I am feeling pretty good,' said Jacquelin. 'It was a bit more difficult today as I didn't putt very well, but I played the par fives well, especially the back nine.'
Further down the leaderboard, some big names lurked within striking distance.
Eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie remained steady with a 3-under 69 and was tied for sixth place with Markus Brier (68) and Soren Hansen (67) at 8-under 208.
'I missed five putts today and if I don't win tomorrow it is because of that,' Montgomerie said.
Ernie Els, the 2005 champion, was at 6-under 210 following a round of 68 and led a group of three players tied for 11th place. Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 2004 winner, shot a 72 and was among four players who were tied for 14th.
Retief Goosen was nine shots off the lead at 2 under after a round of 69, his best score of the week so far.
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